Kolkata residents can breathe easy: The Supreme Court refused to stay an order banning 15-year-old commercial vehicles from Kolkata roads. Calcutta High Court had directed the old vehicles should be phased out by July 31 saying citizens have the right to breathe pollution-free air. The Bengal Bus Syndicate had approached the Supreme Court seeking extension of the July 31 deadline.
The West Bengal government, meanwhile, has started phasing out old vehicles, in compliance with the high court order. According to Bengal Mini Bus Owners Syndicate, 70 per cent of the vehicles are off the road. Subhas Datta who had petitioned the court seeking a ban on old vehicles said there is a significant drop in the city's air pollutants now. He, however, is not happy the way the state government is implementing the order. The government should have provided alternative arrangements to avoid inconvenience for commuters, he said.
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